Justin K. Broadrick’s Pale Sketcher alias fuses the Godflesh / Jesu founder’s longstanding obsessions, fusing metal-grade emotional heft to ambient-tinged electronic excursions. On the Seventh Heaven EP, Broadrick follows up his 2010 debut, Pale Sketches: Demixed, with yet another stylistic shift, deepening and coloring the Pale Sketcher sound in ways that have only been hinted at previously.
From the opening strains of “Seventh Heaven”—a grid of repeating, micro-sampled melodic noise and vocals buttressed by a dancefloor-ready beat—it becomes apparent that Broadrick is growing as a producer, and Pale Sketcher is reaping the rewards. The slow-motion dronescapes of Demixed have given way to a positively light-on-its feet rhythmic sense and a Seefeel-esque attention to textural detail. “The Rainy Season” furthers the theme, draping shoegazing guitar filigree over a grimy breakbeat and an achingly lovely vocoded melody. King Midas Sound (aka UK’s The Bug, Broadrick’s sometime-collaborator in duo Techno Animal) remixes Demixed’s “Wash It All Away” into a doomy alternate-universe Portishead single, featuring Hitomi on vocals to this originally instrumental track wth a feminine quaver and frying the low end to a crisp. The EP’s final two tracks—the snowy ambient static of “Resonanz Therapy Music” and the head-nodding lullabye of “Drag Your Feet”—both hint at the limitless future of Justin K. Broadrick’s Pale Sketcher, one in which beauty and ugliness, sadness and joy intermingle and merge into a different animal altogether.
NOTE: The vinyl version is limited to 500 copies.